“John is an excellent, super talented photographer! I trust when he is sent to events the photos will be consistent and on brand. That makes it hard to choose what pictures to use because they are all great. Highly recommended.”
Stephanie Fleischer | Marketing Coordinator | City of Troy
“John has been photographing our events and facilities for over a year and very quickly caught on to our needs. He understands our audience and who we serve. With the variety of things I ask him to photograph, he always jumps in without hesitation and captures the best moments.”
Alyssa Firth | Marketing Coordinator | City of Troy Recreation & Troy Public Library
The City of Troy was shedding its old look and investing in an updated brand presence. Their logo design, and design overall was a bit dated looking, the website needed a refresh, and their library of photos for their marketing materials was in a style that was described as "very city government looking". With a new logo and a modern website on the way, the photos needed to match the level of contemporary design that was being put forth, and because the quality needed to be consistent across the board, we needed to start fresh and rebuild this photo library completely from the beginning.
After some initial meetings with the marketing team, we decided together that the images needed to illuminate the joy and life in the city. We needed to see smiling faces, and events packed with families spending time together. We wanted current photos of all the city buildings composed in an artful way, and the city employee headshots needed to be a far cry from the formal studio portraits with stiff smiles that the staff was used to.
We began with the city buildings. The existing photos of the buildings at the time were nothing the marketing team felt proud of. Plus they were shot in the middle of the day, which is not the best choice for achieving great lighting. We planned a route that would take us to all the city buildings when the light was nice and soft in the morning, or right before dusk. We chose interesting angles that would make these places - like the police station, fire stations, and the community center - feel like more than just "buildings".
Next came the headshots. Over the course of 4 days we picked locations that fit with the different departments the employees worked in, and we shot them in a way where the background would be blurred out in order to create a consistent, contemporary and natural look. The process was collaborative with each subject, taking several images and looking at them together to make sure that person felt confident with how they looked, seeing as this headshot was going to represent them for years to come. After the shoot, the best images of each person were selected and edited, and several options given to the subjects to choose their favorite from.
And finally, there was an extensive and ongoing need for updated pictures of the various amenities, activities, and events provided by the city to be used in marketing collateral such as the Troy Today and the community center bulletins. Since 2016 I have explored the nature center with groups of curious kids (see below), taken the portrait of the classic car owner whose vehicle once belonged to Liberace, and met a passionate Troy family that turned a vintage trailer into a food truck, serving up boutique dishes at the farmers market. I've been to dance-style fitness classes at the community center, Christmas performances on the steps of City Hall, cheered at the finish line of the Frightful 5K race, and met countless individuals who work hard behind the scenes to keep the city running.
In the first year of my relationship with the city, it was a bit of a test run. They are extremely careful about how they spend money in order to keep taxes low, so they weren't ready to put a whole lot of investment toward photography. That year proved to be a major success and they signed me on for a 2 year contract committing nearly double the budget towards photography, as they saw much value in having a consistent set of quality images to use for web, social media and print materials. The feedback from various city employees who use these images is very positive, and in addition to that I have built lasting relationships with city employees and residents that make each shoot fun.
Email/call/text below and allow me to come alongside your upcoming projects.